Like many parts of the University, the Health Sciences Library is transforming. Driven by changes in technology and our patron’s expectations, we are evolving to meet these needs. In the past year, we have made some organizational changes that, we believe, are strategic. With these changes, we hope to better serve you, keep abreast of new technologies, and become more efficient in the way we provide our services. We are excited about these changes as some have already been implemented and some are in process. Particularly for the changes that are taking place behind the scenes, we want to keep you informed.
One Desk to Provide You Service
One major change that is still in transition is the establishment of a one-desk model. The “Service Desk”, as it is now called, is a melding of the former circulation desk operations (where you checked out books) with many of the services previously provided by the reference and technology desks. The rationale for this change, common in most academic medical libraries, is to provide one place for all patrons to seek assistance rather than referred to another desk. Now, our Service Desk acts as a triage station with the majority of questions answered immediately since staff have received additional training. However, if further assistance is required, a member of the reference or technical education and computing staff (TEC Team) will be called.
You Don’t Have to Come in — Chat Us Instead
We live in a world where a large amount of communication is accomplished virtually. Our job is to reflect what the world is doing in terms of providing services. For this reason, we initiated chat and text messaging services. Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in inquiries for assistance using these methods. Whether the question is information or technology related, we have someone available during regular business hours to help answer it.
Research and Data Services
Recognizing that much of science today is data intense and the challenges that brings, the Research and Data Services Department was created to provide expertise in information and data management. Were interested in learning more about researcher’s needs related to managing data, finding collaborators, metadata production, and identifying new digital resources to support scientific research. In collaboration with the University Library’s Scientific Data Consulting Group, School of Medicine, and other campus partners, we provide consultations on issues and emerging technologies related to e-science, and digital resources such as Libra (UVa’s digital repository) for scientific research.
Knowledge Integration Services
Libraries are about knowledge. For centuries, that has meant books and journals. The past twenty years have brought many new ways that knowledge is created, disseminated, organized, and shared. This is where our librarian’s expertise has evolved prompting the new department name, Knowledge Integration Services. These librarians know how to locate quality information beyond a simple Google search and push it to you as soon as it becomes available. They can also offer effective solutions for organizing the ocean of information you accumulate, and suggest methods for creating new knowledge. We hired an Emerging Technologies Librarian to keep us on the cutting edge of topics such as crowdsourcing in health care and online identity security. Knowledge Integration Services librarians work with specific communities in the Health System as liaisons to better meet our patron’s needs.
Collection & Library Services Department
The Collection & Library Services Department, in addition to staffing the Service Desk, is more and more focused on supporting the virtual library presence. Specifically, they make sure that all appropriate metadata is applied to our resources, our systems interact properly, they analyze the collection and information needs of our patrons, and identify packages and resources that are needed. Since our collection budget is approximately 1.9 million dollars, it is crucial that we remain proper stewards of this money.
Technology Education and Computing
This Department may be better known to you as “Rover”, the people that answer your iPad2 or other technology questions when you visit the Library. You may also have chatted, texted, talked to them over the phone, or met them in person when attending a learning session on multimedia creation. We call them the Technology Education and Computing Department, aka the “TEC Team.” The team is also responsible for overseeing the Library’s computing infrastructure.
Historical Collections and Services
Historical Collections and Services is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the health sciences at the University of Virginia and around the world. Curator, Joan Klein, invites you to visit in person, particularly when one of our many exhibits is on display in the Library Lobby. You may also explore our content online through over thirty web exhibits, online manuscript guides, and the Online Visual History Project.
Tell Us How We’re Doing
We look forward to hearing your suggestions for improving your library experience. Contact us at 924-5444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.